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Bell House and Fuzzy Ed’s Funhouse

Lynda Moyo takes her energetic Godson for food and fun in Didsbury

Written by . Published on October 6th 2010.

Bell House and Fuzzy Ed’s Funhouse

At just 11-months-old, Kobi is fast becoming a future contender for the local Iron Man contest. Already walking (sprinting in fact), talking (be it his own language) and demanding (already seeing premature glimpses of the terrible twos), he’s one intelligent nearly-one-year-old who is hungry for knowledge as well as solid foods.

Our food arrived in less than 20 minutes and contrary to my initial apprehensions, it was hot, fresh, plentiful – exactly what you’d expect from pub grub. Kobi found the chips especially good for squishing between his fingers.

Whilst there’s plenty for kids to do in the region, it appears that baby-based activities are fewer and further between, especially when you’re up against abysmal weather conditions that quash any plans for park or farm visits.

Burger and chips

The Bell House is a family pub with an indoor play area for kids situated in a bigger entertainment complex, Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre, where parking is free.

Inside, the Bell House is not somewhere you’d ever come for a quiet pub lunch. It’s a family zone – the type of place where kids rule and high chairs are their thrones. This is fine for families and serves as a welcome break from adult-orientated restaurants where a meal out can fast become a nightmare.

There’s lots of space in the pub and many of the tables seat parties of six to eight. Believe me when I say that these are the most popular tables. Two-point-four children are the minority in this place, with most people seizing on the family friendly opportunities by rounding up kids from the whole estate.

This does mean, of course, that it can get chaotic and harder to summon a member of staff. We spilt a drink all over our table but when we went to the bar to ask for help, we were handed a miniscule piece of Jay cloth to wipe it up ourselves. It seemed a bit slack, but shortly afterwards a waitress did come over to help, probably after seeing Kobi’s dad wringing out the cloth into a pint glass.

The tardiness luckily doesn’t spill over into the kitchen. Bell House has a vast menu full of the usual pub classics and many of them are offered at two for one. We ordered a Wexford steak, scampi and chips, barbecue chicken and ribs, burger and chips and a child’s fish fingers and chips (their children’s dishes contain no artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners). It came to the grand total of £27. Our food arrived in less than 20 minutes and contrary to my initial apprehensions, it was hot, fresh, plentiful – exactly what you’d expect from pub grub.

Kobi was particularly impressed with his meal and found the chips to be especially good for squishing between his fingers.

Fuzzy Ed’s Funhouse is the adjacent children’s indoor play centre and although it’s probably better to take kids in there before eating, activities for babies are more limited so we weren’t worried about Kobi getting indigestion. His mum, Barbara, commented that it's not on the level of Head Over Heels in Chorlton but for a pub play area, it’s good enough. Plus Kobi got free entry for being under one (luckily they go off age and not size).

Being the hench boy that he is, Kobi soon got bored of the under-2s ball pool and toddled his way out to mingle with the big boys. There, he decided to create his own fun, dancing on the spongy mats to imaginary beats.

The boy’s got rhythm but his self-initiated baby bop further highlighted the problem with this and many other play centres. There’s a lot going on for the big kids but not nearly as much for the little ones. The area for under-2's here is literally just a ball pool, but for the rest there are slides, climbing ladders, nets and bridges. Adults can watch and wait from the seating area in the middle.

Kobi is still a baby, so we decided to stick with him, much to the dismay of an older kid who rightfully shouted at Kobi’s dad, “you’re not allowed in here.” Told.

You’re also not allowed to take photos in Fuzzy Ed’s Funhouse so bare this in mind if you fancy taking your kids there for birthday parties in photo form. I’d like to call Fuzzy Ed a party pooper, but it’s more a reflection of the state society than the centre being arsey, which is a shame when you only want to take pictures of your own children.

The happy family

I managed to sneak a few of Kobi mind, before Fuzzy Ed even had chance to think about escorting me off the premises.

All in all, this is a decent place to take the kids, especially on a rainy day. You don’t have to worry about them getting lost or roaming off as the funhouse and pub area are connected internally. Added to that, it’s the least pretentious place you could possibly come across so yummy mummies need not apply; this one’s for the children.

Fuzzy Ed’s Fun House is suitable for children up to 4ft 9ins tall. Opening hours are Sunday – Thursday 10am – 7pm and Friday and Saturday, 10am - 8pm. Last admissions are one hour before closing time. Prices for children over 12 months on weekdays is £3 per child, per hour and on weekends, £3.50 per child, per hour.

Bell House and Fuzzy Ed’s Fun House
Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre
Wilmslow Road
East Didsbury
M20 5PG

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